Inkscape has rapidly become one of the most popular and better-known free vector graphics software on the market. While this type of software has nearly unlimited uses in the design community, today we are going to focus on using Inkscape to design a layout incorporating text and shape.
One tip that will carry through all the steps in this particular tutorial is that when you are adjusting and re-sizing your text object, make sure to hold down Ctrl while you drag the cursor, this will assure that you keep the aspect ratio of your text. This means that you will not stretch or distort the text; you’ll just shrink or expand it as if you were adjusting the font size.
Open a new document in Inkscape, and enter text using the Text tool; its icon looks like the letter A in the left hand toolbox.
Once you have entered the text you want (you can choose whether to make a single text field, or if you want to control or move each word individually), open the Text and Font menu by selecting Text > Text and Font. From this menu you can easily preview how your words will look in different fonts.
Once your text and font are selected (the font can be changed at any time if you want), it can be considered an object. To adjust the weight of the text, go to Object > Fill and Stroke, then click the Stroke Paint tab, and select your color – we recommend working in black and white to start with. You can always change colors later.
While still in the Fill and Stroke menu, click the Stroke Style tab, and select the width of the stroke; increasing it will bold the font, which gives you much more accurate control than simply selecting a bold font.
Once you have set up your fonts with the proper sizes and weights, you can adjust the letter spacing by bringing up the text editor by double-clicking on the text, and in the menu at the top bar you’ll see what looks like two capital A’s. By increasing the number, you create more space between the letters, and by reducing, you bunch the letters closer together.
Now that your text is properly set, it is time to add a graphic element. Remember, since this is a logo, there’s no need to go too over-the-top. We recommend using any of the shapes tools to build your logo. We recommend using the Stars and Polygons Tool, which you can click on in the toolbox, and adjusting from there. You can also repeat this process if you want overlapping graphic elements.
Clicking on the star tool, you will automatically get a five-pointed star. Naturally, we suggest you go with something a little more exotic than a star for your logo, and there are a number of ways that you can customize it. You can change the Number of Corners in the toolbar at the top, choosing anywhere from 3 points to 1,024.
When you have chosen the number of points, adjust the Spoke Ratio. This controls the distance from the interior of your star to the outermost edge. As you increase ratio (a ratio of 1 is nearly a circle) the star will get “fatter” and decreasing it will make the corners skinnier.
The next adjustment is the Roundness of your corners. Increasing the roundness rounds your corners, so that you create circle-like cutouts in your shape, rather than the clean, angular corners of a star.
Once your shape is to your liking, choose Object > Fill and Stroke and select a Fill color for the shape. If you want to retain a black outline for the shape, control is in the Stroke Paint tab; also if you want to remove the outline, you can simply click the X box under the Stroke Paint Tab.
When you are happy with the way everything looks, you can arrange the elements in relation to each other. For each element, you can adjust the X-axis and Y-axis location in the toolbar at the top of the window, just look for the two numerical values with X and Y next to them. You can manually adjust the value for each element, and if each value is the same, that should make everything perfectly aligned.